Jessica Williams of “The Daily Show” is just brilliant at showing the absurdity of America’s racial dynamics. Her takedown of Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and her “Santa is white” assertion put her on my radar screen last December. Last night, Williams took on the latest legal travesty out of Florida.
Michael Dunn was found guilty of three counts attempted second-degree murder for shooting into an SUV with four black teenagers in 2012 because their music was too loud. But the jury deadlocked on first-degree murder for killing Jordan Davis.
Dunn claimed he saw a gun and feared for his life. A gun was never found. Thus, Florida’s overly permissive and insane Stand Your Ground law made it impossible for the jury to reach a unanimous guilty verdict on first-degree murder of Davis. As a cartoon by Jim Morin of the Miami Herald starkly showed, black life has been devalued once again.
Williams uses the Dunn verdict to hilariously expose the pernicious impact of “fear goggles” — “The lens through which chronically terrified white people look at black kids” — and impart some life-saving lessons for African American children.
Williams: Number one, kids, stay in school.
Stewart: Well, that’s good advice. That’s good advice for anybody.
Williams: By which I mean, if you’re at school stay in the building. If you’re at home stay at home. Don’t go wandering into the street where you might scare a white person. And, look, whatever you need, order it in. Seemless Web, Amazon Prime, Zappos. Those are your friends now.
Which brings us to lesson two. Don’t hang out with your friends anymore.
Stewart: So, stay inside, don’t, isn’t there safety in numbers, though, to some extent?
Williams: Not for black teenagers. The only thing scarier than one black kid is a whole pack of ’em. Jon, four black guys could be taking a calculus test together and to jumpy white folks it would still look like a scene from “The Wire.”
Now, lesson three: Turn the music off.
Stewart: What, what if it’s not rap? Can’t they listen to classical in the car?
Williams: Oh, what, like Yo-Yo Ma ’cause that name sounds pretty ghetto to me, Jon.
Of course, Williams has her tongue firmly pressed in cheek. But her lessons are devastating because, well, they ring more than a little true.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj